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All Critics (20)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (17)
| Rotten (3)
| DVD (1)
End result is at once intelligent, wry and -- there's no way around it -- quintessentially Jewish, in the best sense.
The filmmaker gives roughly equal time to left, right, and moderate views, but his glib narration, accentuated by a jaunty score, undercuts this otherwise worthy inquiry.
The film wades airily into a cultural no-flyover zone, sits down, and says: OK, let's talk.
Even though Defamation, which is sprinkled with unexpected moments of wry humor, will be inescapably controversial, Yoav Shamir strives admirably to be evenhanded.
Presumably Mr. Shamir's film plays differently in Israel. In the United States, it feels like just another day on the Op-Ed page.
Yoav Shamir's documentary Defamation takes on such an explosive topic that the director only gradually reveals the film's real subject.
[T]hough the film is scattershot and flip at times, it is also heartfelt.
deliberately provocative, and more than challenging even with Shamir's wry approach, it's paradigm shifting and disconcerting
Shamir is smart enough to move his film beyond shrill polemics and into more observational territory: Israeli high-school kids visiting Poland to see the death camps, African-Americans on a street corner in Brooklyn discussing their experiences with Jews.
Borat hunts for neo-Nazis!
Like Diogenes with his lamp, director Yoav Shamir goes in search of anti-Semitism. This film goes further than any ever made in demonstrating that the Holocaust has been used cynically to justify Israeli expansionism and brutality.
Shamir's breezy manner and casual approach encourage people to speak candidly, and their comments about Jews are shocking -- horrendous, really, but sometimes surprisingly funny.
"He who forgets history is doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana
It's always kind of frustrating when there is a movie whose conclusion I agree with but where the logic is especially faulty and that's very true for "Defamation." On the one hand, I agree with filmmaker Yoav Shamir that one can be critical of Israel without being anti-semitic, although there are many poeple who do so for exactly that reason. But then according to this documentary, anti-semitism does not exist in this day and age. Although, he did find it on a street corner in Brooklyn faster than you could find an egg cream. Sure, Abe Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, might just be exaggerating but that's how you fundraise, by scaring your demographic(For example, an arts movie theatre could say that if you don't support them, they will be showing "Fast Five" this upcoming weekend), and it's questionable the extent of the influence he has with Israeli authorities. As a result, the documentary shows tabloid journalism is pretty much the same wherever you go. Shamir's other target is a class trip of Israeli students to visit a former concentration camp in Poland, in reality not to indoctrinate them, but because youngsters were starting to lose touch with their past. Actually, it will probably make them more empathetic to the sufferings of others. You just have to make them understand that the Holocaust was not a unique event.
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